How Bare the Countryside!

We present this work in honor of the Russian holiday, Defense of the Fatherland Day.

02-23 Tyutchev
Fyodor Tyutchev
1803 – 1873


How bare the countryside! What dearth
How stark the hamlets’ desolation…
Long-suffering country of my birth,
poor homeland of the Russian nation.

Never will the stranger’s gaze
look deeper to perceive or guess
what hidden light there is that plays
and shimmers through your nakedness.

In servant’s guise the King of Heaven,
beneath the cross in anguish bent,
has walked the length and breadth of Russia,
blessing her people as he went.


Translation by Avril Pyman

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